Poetry, Music and Living
Illustrations from In Case of an Emergency by Sophie Helen Ashton https://www.facebook.com/sophieashtoncustomart/
Looking at my calendar for December my hair begins to stand up in fright and then when I look back at November I wonder how I got everything done that needed doing – but of course I did, because we just do. November was a month and a half in terms of what I managed to do; not single-handedly of course, there are lots of people who deserve thanks, bottles of wine and much more besides.
I moved house in November, just over a week ago in fact. So far, so very good. Great place, loads of room and all boxes labelled in a sane way that I understand. They may not be unpacked for some time, we’ll see.
Last Thursday I finished the first phase of my ACE funded writing project with the launch of In Case of an Emergency, the anthology of writing from young people who either attend or have attended Franklin College and undertaken the now defunct Creative Writing A Level. There is a lot that I could say about the government’s decision to scrap the course and much has been said. It was a lumpen, brainless decision borne out of the ridiculous notion that education is about measuring and not much else. The anthology proves that real education is not something that can be measured. The learning, experience and production that went into the book is not something that can be weighed against a set of meaningless assessment objectives and performance indicators. The book is an expression of the souls and imagination of its young contributors. And it is a thing of beauty. It was very telling that amongst the audience for the launch on Thursday evening there was not one single measuring stick wielding individual present. Their absence was noted but not missed.
This Thursday (December 7th) is the second La Luna Poetry Cafe @ Riverhead Coffee. This is an opportunity for writers and those interested in writing to come together, share work and talk about what it means and what interests them about it. Last month we had a terrific afternoon and very diverse contributions. Everyone is welcome, it’s free to come along and the coffee is great.
December is very much about music and singing and the Great Grimsby Community Choir has a full and busy schedule. We are supporting community events and taking part in a very special Christmas concert at St Augustine’s on December 22nd. The weekly joy of getting together at St Mark’s and singing our hearts out cannot be underestimated. We are a very welcoming choir and we embrace new members. Everyone is welcome to come along and join us; no auditions!
It’s a lovely December afternoon. I’m looking forward to singing at Grimsby Minster later as part of the choir for the Advent Carol Service and then to settling down to watch Casablanca with my very best human. I love Advent, probably more than I love Christmas and I wish everyone a whole lot of love and peace.